New York’s arts and entertainment sector hit hardest by pandemic, report says

The arts, entertainment and recreation industry faces a long road to recovery. (Photo: Eduardo MunozAlvarez / VIEWpres)

Employment among New York City workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation industries fell 66% between December 2019 and December 2020, according to a new report from the New York State Comptroller.

The decline to 34,100 jobs from 87,000 jobs the previous year marks the largest employment decline of any sector of the city’s economy, according to reporting published Wednesday. The report defines the arts, entertainment and recreation sector as encompassing live theater, as well as the city’s museums, sporting events, zoos and botanical gardens.

The current employment rate in the sector remains largely unchanged from April 2020 employment levels, according to the report.

This sector is the only major employment sector in New York that remains below half of its employment levels before the pandemic, ”the report said.

Companies in the sector have been largely supported by federal programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, which initially closed applications in August 2020, but has since reopened for a second round of loans. Almost two-thirds of companies in the sector – not to mention independent contractors, sole proprietors and freelancers – have been approved for PPP loans, according to the report.

As part of the sector has started to open up again, the report says further government support is needed to revitalize the industry. federal program like the Save Our Stages legislation, which would provide grants of up to $ 10 million to eligible theatrical productions and theater operators, is a step in that direction.

But the area faces a long run, with Broadway shows closed until May 2021 and considering a fall return, and the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet closed until September.

“Due to the length of the pandemic and the direct relationship between the congregation of large groups and the potential for super-diffusion events, this sector is likely to face the most difficult path to recovery and solutions. even more creative will be needed, ”the states report.

Before the pandemic, employment in the sector had increased. From 2009 to 2019, employment increased by 42%, surpassing the growth rate of 30% in the entire private sector.

In 2019, the average salary for actors in the city was $ 65,756, with musicians and singers earning $ 43,966 and theater or personal service directors earning an average of $ 98,335.